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The Perfect Medical School Application

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You’re putting your medical school application together, going down the list checking off the various items, and you realize you’ve done pretty well:  You’ve maintained a decent GPA and have an MCAT score above average?. You’ve done research and shadowing and  have sent requests for letters of recommendation. There is one more thing, though, that you should add to this checklist to make your application stand out: acknowledgment of your Core Competencies.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has identified four categories of Core Competencies that aspiring medical students should have. You can read more about these and how to reveal your competencies here, but make note of one of the most difficult areas to show competence: science competencies.

At Exploring Medicine, you can choose from an ever-expanding number of science competencies. Learn the medical model of diagnosis and treatment of disease while you apply your basic science knowledge to clinical medicine. At the completion of each of these modules, you will receive a personalized certificate of completion revealing the foundational concepts addressed through the educational experience you chose. Prepare yourself to think like a doctor as you work through actual patient scenarios. In the end, you will make a better-informed decision about pursuing a career in medicine. For more information about science competencies and about Exploring Medicine, go to exploringmedicine.net.

Exploring Medicine’s Advantage: Nate Nordmann’s Experience

Nate Nordmann is a second-year medical student at the University of Minnesota, Duluth campus. He graduated from St. John’s University in 2011 and worked at WuXi Apptec, an outsourcing company that serves worldwide pharmaceutical, biotechnological and medical device industries before starting medical school.

While a student at SJU, Nordmann took the Exploring Medicine course and found it to be extremely beneficial when preparing for the MCAT and while studying medicine.

Nordmann answered some questions about taking the courses and how they have helped him.

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Why did you decide to take Exploring Medicine?

I began my education at St. John’s University knowing I was going to pursue a career in medicine. In order to graduate with a BA in biology and conquer all the necessary recommendations for pre-medicine, I was advised to enroll in a variety of courses ranging from applied behavioral statistics to human anatomy/physiology.

 

Exploring Medicine, however, was one of the only courses that strictly focused on medicine and its application in the real world. I found it extremely interesting and knew my enrollment was a “no-brainer.”

 

How helpful were the modules? How have you used those lessons in medical school?

I found the modules to be extremely helpful in terms of gaining scientific knowledge, applying that knowledge to clinical medicine, and even preparing me for a rigorous MCAT that every pre-medical student dreads.

 

Biology and other courses can only get a student so far, but it is modules like these that give students a realistic perspective of what medicine is all about. Furthermore, these modules have even aided in my coursework at medical school.

We have already begun to focus on evidence-based medicine and I can say with absolute certainty that much of this coursework could be related to the Evidence-Based Medicine module provided through Exploring Medicine. Even though I had been out of school for a few years before getting accepted into medical school, the use of sensitivity, specificity, and other statistics for medical diagnosis and disease came back to me much quicker because of this module and it gave me a slight advantage over other students.

 

Why should others use Exploring Medicine?

I believe many of my former classmates would agree with me that Exploring Medicine was the only course that gave a bird’s eye view of what medicine is all about. Biology, physics, chemistry, and other courses are very helpful for gaining scientific knowledge, but it the application of this knowledge to medical scenarios that is needed to become a successful physician. This is exactly what the course was about and I highly recommend it for any student wanting to pursue a career in medicine.

Pursuing a future in the medical field is more of a lifestyle than a career. Every student needs to be aware that perseverance and dedication are an absolute must. Exploring Medicine did a great job in illustrating this, as it provides every student with a strong foundation for what will be required of any prospective physician.

 

The modules and information I learned in this course were exceptional because they broke down some of the daily challenges physicians face when treating patients and they gave each student the chance to think, act and feel like a doctor. Additionally, the knowledge obtained in this course can be used beyond the classroom setting. It gives students an advantage over others when applying to medical school, taking exams and using their clinical judgment when speaking with their future patients.

 

How to Be a Great Candidate for Medical School

Your application to medical school is not just an afternoon of filling out an online or paper form, it is a process that takes years. Only about forty percent of students that apply to medical will be accepted for admission. Knowing the proper steps in the application process will maximize your chances of being one of those twenty thousand.

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The first question you should ask yourself before embarking on the path to a medical school application is, “Do I want to be a doctor?” Are you making an informed decision? What do you know about the medical field? Do you know what the medical model is? Get good grades and smoke the MCAT- who hasn’t heard that advice. Whether you do moderately well academically or you are a genius does not make you better suited to be a physician someday.

 

To begin to answer these questions, watch this additional benefits video and start yourself down the right path to a great medical school application. When you know that medicine is the right career for you, it will show through on your application and in your med school interview. In our next Exploring Medicine post, we will discuss how to prepare the perfect application.